St. Augustine History

By | January 8, 2014
Visualize strolling through the streets of the oldest city in North America, where the whole area was once ruled by natives, and then by the English, French & Spanish explorers. Where once upon a time pirates raped & pillaged the land and with the help of providence and a hurricane, the English routed and destroyed not only a French fortress but their formidable sailing fleet alongside it. Any guesses where you are? by the description you must be St. Augustine, Florida – the oldest European established, and for lots who visit, the most charming city in in U.S.A..

As you might imagine, a city with this kind of history naturally has a charm and unique blend of the old and new unlike anywhere else in in U.S.A.. St. Augustine is a magnet for history seekers, people who enjoy the arts,artists}, sun seekers, families of ALL ages, honeymooning couples and water enthusiasts alike.

Situated on the eastern side of Florida around 40 miles south of Florida’s State capital of Jacksonville, the Old City as it is locally known, is a gorgeous blend of romance and activity.

St. Augustine History

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St Augustine History

By | August 30, 2013

St Augustine history begins with Juan Ponce de Leon in 1513. The Spanish history of St. Augustine has had a tremendous impact on our community and Florida history, as well.

St. Augustine was founded in 1565 by Pedro Menendez which gives us the esteemed title of “The Oldest Continually Occupied EuropeanSettlement in the Continental United States”.

Touring around the city you’ll find some very old treasures; the Fountain of Youth which is the landing site of Juan Ponce de Leon; the grounds of the Mission Nombre de Dios, the Castillo de San Marcos, and the Oldest House; just to name a few.

The history of St. Augustine is really quite interesting and I encourage you to read through the following list for a brief overview of our important events.

It seems like a long list but after all St. Augustine has been around…

Since 1565!

St Augustine History 700 A.D. – 1586

700 A.D. — Timucua Indian Tribes inhabit the area.

1513 — Juan Ponce de Leon lands on the shores of St. Augustine and claims Florida for Spain.

1564 — French establish Fort Caroline on the St. Johns River (east of present day Jacksonville)

1565 — St. Augustine founded by Pedro Menendez de Aviles of Spain. He also defeats the French and regains Spanish control of Florida.

1567 — First Mission in North America is established in St. Augustine.

1573 — King of Spain decrees town plan for St. Augustine and Spanish colonies.

1586 — Sir Francis Drake of England pillages and burns the city of St. Augustine.

St Augustine History 1661 – 1783

1661 – Coquina (native shell rock) is quarried on Anastasia Island for city construction.

1668 — The English pirate Robert Searles sacks and burns St. Augustine.

1672—1695 — Spanish build the Castillo de San Marcos (the fort) to protect the city and provide a safe haven for the Spanish treasure fleets.

1702 — James Moore, English governor of Carolina, unsuccessfully attacks the Castillo, burns the city.

1704—1719 — A series of earthen walls are built around the city for protection.

1738 — Fort Mose, is established, the First Free Black Settlement in the country.

1740 — British general of Georgia, James Ogelthourpe, shells the city and Fort with no success.

1740—1742 — Fort Matanzas is built to protect the southern inlet.

1763 — Florida is ceded to England, many Spanish St. Augustine residents leave for Cuba.

1775 — The American revolution begins, Florida remains loyal to England.

1783 — Florida is ceded back to Spain by treaty at the conclusion of the revolution.

St Augustine History 1808 – 1885

1808 — City Gates are built from coquina rock as the entryway to the city.

1821 — Florida becomes American territory with St. Augustine named capital of East Florida.

1845 — Florida admitted as 27th State.

1861—1865 — Florida joins the confederacy. St. Augustine surrenders to Union forces and remains under their control during the war.

1866 — Sisters of St. Joseph arrive and open schools for newly freed Black children.

1874 – St. Augustine Lighthouse begins operation.

1885 — Henry Flagler, co-founder of the Standard Oil Company, begins transforming St. Augustine into a visitor destination building hotels, churches, houses and a railroad.

St Augustine History 1920 – Present

1920’s — Florida land boom, Anastasia Island begins development.

1927 — The Bridge of Lions is built. Currently under restoration. Estimated completion date: 2010.

1960’s – Many houses are reconstructed in the Historic District.

1964 – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders conduct marches and rallies in St. Augustine.

1968 — Flagler College opens in Henry Flagler’s Ponce de Leon hotel.


A great place to visit!


So, don’t you agree, St Augustine History is quite fascinating? Not at all boring, and now you will understand what you are looking at as you tour around the city.

I wonder if Juan Ponce de Leon had any idea of the impact his discovery would make in Florida history.

There are many sites that offer a more detailed look at St. Augustine history if you are so inclined to study further. This is meant to offer you a brief overview of how it all began.

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